The prominence of 3D printing in this tech driven era is significantly revolutionary and a promising one as well. It is safe to say that the sphere of 3D printing possesses the potential to drive itself to a point where it could aid a plethoric development. The application of this technology in the disciplines of construction, pharmaceutics, robotics, and other conventional industries, evidently justify the transformation which 3D printing can bring to businesses and equally to the common public. The organizations leveraging this potential are ceaselessly enabling and empowering its optimum application in every possible place.
One among such organizations is Ultimaker, a 3D printer manufacturing company based in Netherlands. The company has been in operation since the year 2011, and through the years has developed to become an unparalleled brand in the market, creating powerful, professional and accessible desktop 3D printers. This commendable global ascension of Ultimaker is being avidly led by a comprehensive, proficient and intellectual driving force named Jos Burger, the CEO.
From everything around telecom, software, computer-related design business and all kinds of ventures, Jos has had a prolific and hands-on career in European and US companies, expanding over 25+ years, instilling an admirable number of feathers in his hat. He has had his own startups, been in venture capital, private equity, and also been helping a lot of IT and tech companies to expand in the US and also in the European marketplace. Jos has been known in leading and supporting start-up and later stage companies in volatile, challenging markets through the growth phases of their business life cycles.
Coming to the company, Jos has been spearheading the company’s progress since 2014. At Ultimaker, what Jos and the team are really doing is facilitating the transition from, central manufacturing to local digital manufacturing. The company enables engineers all over the world, and people in industrial environments to produce locally whatever they need. Jos expresses that it is not only his passion but the passion of the company too, to achieve this motto. “Ultimaker basically enables professionals locally, wherever they are, to produce the parts, the components, the products, tools, everything they need to keep innovating every day,” states Jos.
It is apparently evident that Ultimaker is on a growth-spree in the 3D-printing space. The company is heavily focused on supporting all kinds of companies globally, with the partnerships of all kind of material partners and chemical companies, to offer a platform to the market where every engineer, every producer, everyone who’s responsible for a specific part of the production process, or the life cycle of the product is able to take its platform, its printers, its software, and the right materials to produce what is needed. The key aspect of Ultimaker is that it not only controls the hardware but also the software that is needed to tell the machine how to behave relatively to the material that’s being ridden through the machine. “This aspect gives a lot of flexibility for Ultimaker in the market to support all kind of use cases in a wide variety of industries, whether it’s aerospace, automotive, medical, education, you will find us everywhere,” Jos expresses. Thus, in that sense, the company positions itself as a utility company in the 3D printing space across all kinds of geographies, all kinds of applications, all kinds of industries and facilitating a wide variety of people in accomplishing their tasks and goals.
Commenting upon his source of inspiration which drives him to be a leader, Jos implies considerable amount emphasis on the people he works with. He comprehends the fact that him and the company are in an extremely interesting market, with tons of opportunities, and every day he feels inexplicably motivated by the enthusiasm and the intellectual capabilities of his colleagues and subordinates.
Elucidating his perception of the challenges one faces during an individual’s career as well as those of a company in a competitive market, Jos states, “It’s basically all about overcoming all kind of perceived hurdles, it’s about forcing yourself to do things, to learn things, that may be out of your comfort zone, and if you do that, then the challenge is turning into an asset.” Further, on a company level, he emphasizes on hiring and retaining the best people, getting the right product-market fit, having enough funds to execute, a little bit of luck, and timing, are key aspects and define the success of a company in overcoming its challenges.
Passing the Scepter of Knowledge
In his advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders in the 3D printing space as well as others, Jos asserts, “If and when you start a new company, make sure that you really have something to offer that is disruptive enough to justify its existence and is able to attract the funds to grow your company.”
Jos expresses that he has seen too many people trying to do the same thing and many others not offering a real solution but merely a feature or an aspect. Thus, according to him, to be in this business, being very careful, being very thoughtful, and making sure to have a disruptive offering that can be sold globally to a relevant marketplace is of utmost importance.
The aforesaid aspects do lucidly exhibit how Jos is a distinguished leader and particularly this one aspect of his personality, which is about inculcating and sustaining humor and irony, makes him, in an unconventional way, a person who has his priorities sorted. “I think if you don’t have irony and if you can’t play with that then you have an issue with your personality. I’m probably a typical straight Dutch shooter, I always aim for big laugh and I love to be ironic. But again, I’m a humble guy so you should probably ask someone else,” concludes Jos.